Morocco’s Progress in Fight against HIV-AIDS “Speaks Volumes” – UNAIDS Director –

Morocco’s progress in the fight against HIV-AIDS “speaks volumes” and its achievements in this regard exceed global and regional averages, said director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Morocco, Dr Kamal Alami. In an interview with M24, MAP’s 24/7 news channel, Alami stressed that the Kingdom has achieved an average antiretroviral treatment coverage of 76%, surpassing the world average of 73% and the regional average for North Africa/Middle East which is 41%. According to a recent report by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), entitled “Global commitments, local action. After 40 years of AIDS, charting a course to end the pandemic,” the North African region and the Arab world are far behind in this area with a coverage by antiretroviral treatment not exceeding 40%. However, Morocco stands out compared to its region and, according to the report, is on the right track thanks in particular to the strategy it has put in place for many years, its high-level political commitment and the strategic plans for the fight against AIDS that it  set up every five years since 2002. The director of UNAIDS-Morocco said the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic has impacted the HIV response globally. Indeed, this battle was impacted by a change in priorities and the sharp increase in pressure on health systems, thus significantly reducing AIDS screening activities, with a drop ranging from 20% to 80% depending on the country. Morocco has set up, in parallel with its fight against Covid-19, a program to ensure the continuity of treatment for people with HIV, with exceptional measures that have enabled them to continue receiving their antiretroviral treatment thanks to the efforts by the Ministry of Health and civil society organizations, said Dr Alami, noting that even in Morocco, AIDS screening activities have been affected by Covid-19.